DOH suspends testing in Panay as COVID-19 infects 6 med techs

ILOILO CITY—The Department of Health (DOH-6) has temporarily suspended testing of specimens for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from all over Panay and Guimaras islands after six medical technologists were infected with the coronavirus.

Medical technologists at the Western Visayas Medical Center-Sub-National Laboratory (WVMC-SNL) that conducts COVID-19 testing in Iloilo City. (WVMC-SNL)

“No specimens for testing will be received until further notice,” said DOH-6 Director Dr. Maryln Convocar in an advisory Wednesday, August 12. 

The Western Visayas Medical Center-Sub-National Laboratory (WVMC-SNL), the DOH-run COVID-19 laboratory in Iloilo City, has been undergoing disinfection since Tuesday after four medical technologists were initially infected. 

By Wednesday, the number of medical technologists infected with COVID-19 rose to six.

“These health workers are now on isolation and provided with the appropriate clinical management,” the WVMC said in a separate statement.

“We hope to resume our laboratory services upon determination that it is already safe to serve the public,” it added.

The WVMC-SNL is one of the two accredited laboratories that test specimens for COVID-19 and caters to Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, and Iloilo provinces as well as Iloilo City, the regional capital of Western Visayas. 

Meanwhile, the DOH-6 closely reminded local governments to closely coordinate with DOH-6’s Regional Epidemiological Surveillance Unit (RESU) regarding to specimens to be tested.